What did Jesus say about ethnocentrism?

The events in Charlottesville last weekend¬†around a planned white nationalist protest called “Unite the Right” have raised the ugly specter of racism again in a country which has been steadily growing ever more diverse. Given that white evangelical Christians famously voted in droves for the same president that the white nationalists cite as inspiration, one naturally wonders: Should we be also allow ourselves to be united to such a cause?

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Make Academia Less Solitary

Last week, I wrote about some of the misconceptions that I had of math graduate school, essentially offering suggestions for how grad students should act and react within the academic system. In this post, I’d like to offer some suggestions for improving the system.

All of these suggestions relate in some way to building better community among students and researchers, something that’s been a bit of a pet project for me. I’ve been able to act on most of these ideas personally, but I also offer a moonshot at the end.

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Misconceptions of Math Grad School

In my day job, I am a graduate student in the MIT Math Department, an experience I’ve reflected on before in What I Wish I Knew When I Got to Graduate School and Why I Didn’t Do Research In Your Area. Both of those posts focused on graduate school as a whole, naturally inflected by my own experience but not primarily discussing aspects unique to my department. In this post, I’d like to focus on the particulars of going to graduate school in math, centered on five of my own previous misconceptions of it.

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What’s in Our Board Game Collection

When I first got to graduate school here at MIT, I came pretty empty-handed on the board game front. The few that I had owned in college, I had given away to friends or left at home with my family. Now, nearly five years later, Grace and I have built up a decent collection of board games. It’s intentionally somewhat of an eclectic set, reflecting both of our tastes as well as avoiding overlap with the collections of several of our friends. (So don’t read too much into any absences from this list!)

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Truth Telling Under Uncertainty

“Thou shalt not lie.” Perhaps the most misquoted commandment of them all is actually not that broad:

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